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J Nutr Health Aging. 2017;21(8):918-926. doi: 10.1007/s12603-016-0867-y.

Multi-Domains Lifestyle Interventions Reduces Depressive Symptoms among Frail and Pre-Frail Older Persons: Randomized Controlled Trial.

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A/P Tze-Pin Ng, Gerontology Research Programme, National University of Singapore, Department of Psychological Medicine, NUHS Tower Block, 9th Floor, 1E Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119228 Fax: 65-67772191, Tel: 65-67723478 Email:



We investigated the effect of multi-domain lifestyle (physical, nutritional, cognitive) interventions among frail and pre-frail community-living older persons on reducing depressive symptoms.


Participants aged 65 and above were randomly allocated to 24 weeks duration interventions with nutritional supplementation (N=49), physical training (N=48), cognitive training (N=50), combination intervention (N=49) and usual care control (N=50). Depressive symptoms were assessed by the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15) at baseline (0M), 3 month (3M), 6 month (6M) and 12 month (12M).


Mean GDS scores in the control group increased from 0.52 (0M) and 0.54 (3M) to 0.74 (6M), and 0.83 (12M). Compared to the control group, interventions showed significant differences (∆=change) at 6M for cognitive versus control (∆=-0.39, p=0.021, group*time interaction p=0.14); physical versus control (∆ =-0.37, p=0.026, group*time interaction p=0.13), and at 12M for nutrition versus control (∆ =-0.46, p=0.016, group*time interaction p=0.15). The effect for combination versus control was significant at 6M (∆ =-0.43, p=0.020) and 12M (∆ =-0.51, p=0.005, group*time interaction p=0.026). Estimated 12-month cumulative incidence of depressive symptoms (GDS≥2) relative to control were OR=0.38, p=0.037 (nutrition); OR=0.71, p=0.40 (cognitive); OR=0.39, p=0.042 (physical training) and OR=0.38, p=0.037 (combination). Changes in gait speed and energy level were significantly associated with changes in GDS scores over time.


Multi-domain interventions that reverse frailty among community-living older persons also reduce depressive symptomatology. Public health education and programmatic measures combining nutritional, physical and cognitive interventions for at-risk frail older people may likely benefit psychological wellbeing.


Frailty; cognitive training; depression; nutritional supplementation; physical exercise

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